What is Weight Management?
One of the largest problems facing pets isn’t an incurable disease, or the newest virus, or a genetic condition of unknown inheritance. Obesity in pets is, by some studies, the largest killer of otherwise healthy pets. If your dog is carrying around extra pounds, weight management is vital to their health and longevity. Developing a weight management plan or taking other actions that help reduce your pet’s weight will have immediate and long-term benefits on their health.
Weight Management Procedure in Dogs
An effective and well-thought-out weight management plan will begin with a visit to your veterinarian’s office. Here your dog’s doctor will perform a thorough physical exam. The vet will listen for heart and breath sounds, assess limb movement, and may take x-ray images if they suspect the beginnings of arthritis. Finally, your vet will weigh your dog and compare it against their breed and standard size tables to determine their optimum, healthy weight.
Using this information, your vet will work with you to assess exercise and eating habits. They will ask about type and amount of food as well as any medications. Your vet may prescribe a special prescription dog food, or may advise to cut back the amount on your dog’s normal food. Your dog may also recommend exercise and therapies for extremely obese pets who have difficulty moving. This can include underwater treadmill therapy and swimming, which allow for exercise without putting excess strain on the joints.
Efficacy of Weight Management in Dogs
Weight management is extremely effective for reducing and eliminating underlying conditions. Dogs that lose weight can generally return to their normal routines and live long and healthy lives.
Weight Management Recovery in Dogs
The recovery time needed for weight management and reduction in weight will vary from animal to animal. As with people, slow weight loss is best so that undue stress is not put on your dog’s internal organs, which need adequate fuel to function. While dogs can lose slightly more than humans on a weekly basis, weight loss should be monitored in connection with your vet to ensure it is healthy.
Cost of Weight Management in Dogs
Costs of weight management treatment for your dog will vary depending on size, breed, and region. Dogs will generally need one initial veterinary visit as well as several follow-up appointments. Special prescription dog food will also cost owners slightly more than typical commercially available dog foods. For an entire course of treatment for weight management, owners can expect to pay $250 to $800.
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Dog Weight Management Considerations
The benefits for weight management in your dog will be immense. Your dog’s likelihood of developing heart, joint and breathing issues begins to reduce almost immediately once they lose weight. Your dog will begin to move more and become more active and have a happier, more healthy appearance to their coat, eyes, ears, and in their demeanor. Once your dog has lost their excess weight you should be careful to maintain good feeding and exercise habits to avoid relapse.
Weight Management Prevention in Dogs
The best cure for obesity in both people and dogs is prevention. It is important to develop good, healthy eating habits when young. Exercising and eating well can be a fun pastime to enjoy with your dog and build companionship. Runs or walks in the park can help you and your canine be more active and live longer more productive lives.